Week in Review: Collaborating to Improve Patient Health

Week in Review: Collaborating to Improve Patient Health

06.06.14 | By Kaelan Hollon

Ensuring patients have access to innovative new medicines require collaboration within the biopharmaceutical industry and across the health care ecosystem. With the rapid pace of research and development, pooling resources and brainpower helps identify and utilize the most pertinent information. As a result, cooperation is occurring not only within the private sector, but also with non-profit organizations, academia and the government to more quickly bring treatments to patients in need. This week we explored some of our challenges and how we’re working together to establish a clear path toward delivering affordable, high quality care.

After attending the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting last weekend and learning about the various public and private partnerships aimed to boost cancer research, we wanted to continue that discussion through our Conversations forum. We asked experts to discuss how the evolving collaborative process creates safe and effective treatments for the more than 200 types of cancers that exist today. We’ve come a long way over the past 20 years, but there is still work to be done, and collaboration will help us achieve more R&D breakthroughs.

Coordination is not limited to R&D. Wednesday, PhRMA and the Georgetown University Program for Regulatory Science & Medicine (PRSM) announced a postgraduate Fellowship in Regulatory Science. The program’s participants will gain hands-on, expert training in regulatory science and learn about current challenges in hopes of bringing us one step closer to improving, and expediting, the medical product review process.

Barriers to patient access go beyond the length of time it takes to bring new medicines to market. A new white paper released this week from Avalere Health found that insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also impacts access. According to the research, many plans’ cost-sharing reductions are inconsistent and fail to lower the costs of prescription medicines or physician visits. To fix this, PhRMA President and CEO John Castellani discussed in The Hill the importance of shifting from an insurance model that encourages more costly acute care to one that promotes prevention. Commercially insured patients are traditionally required to pay about 20 percent of the cost of their medicines compared to just four to seven percent for hospital care. To really cut health care costs, the insurance model must evolve.

Delivering safe, effective medicines in a timely manner is of the utmost importance to the biopharmaceutical industry, and to achieve this, collaboration is essential. Check back next week for more information on our efforts to help patients, including the release of a new Medicines in Development report. Don’t forget to share your thoughts below or on Facebook or Twitter

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